Contemporary international affairs are largely shaped by widely differing thematic issues and actors, such as nation states, international institutions, NGOs and multinational companies. Obtaining a deeper understanding of these multifaceted themes and actors is crucial for developing a genuine understanding of contemporary international affairs. This book provides undergraduate and postgraduate students of global politics and international relations with the necessary knowledge of the forces that shape and dominate our global political, economic and social/cultural environment. The book significantly enhances our understanding of the essentials of contemporary international affairs.
Understanding Global Politics takes a pragmatic approach to international relations, with each chapter being written by an expert in their respective field:
- Part I provides the historical background that has led to the current state of world affairs. It also provides clear outlines of the major yet often complex theories of international relations.
- Part II is dedicated to the main actors in global politics. It discusses actors such as the most important nation states, the UN, EU, international organizations, NGOs and multinational companies.
- Part III considers important contemporary themes and challenges in global politics, including non-state centered challenges. Chapters focus on international terrorism, energy and climate change issues, religious fundamentalism and demographic changes.
The comprehensive structure of this book makes it particularly viable to students who wish to pursue careers in international organizations, diplomacy, consultancy, the think tank world and the media.
Table of Contents
Klaus Larres & Ruth Wittlinger
I. BACKGROUND: HISTORY AND THEORY
1. Global Politics since 1945
2. Democracy: Problems and Challenges, Opportunities and Design
Matthew Flinders and Marc Geddes
3. The Global Economy and the "Great Recession"
Mark K. Cassell
4. Theorizing Global Politics
II. GLOBAL ACTORS
5. The USA
6. The People’s Republic of China
7. Russia’s Resurgent Political Identity
9. The European Union
11. The United Nations
12. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
13. IMF and World Bank
14. Non-Governmental Organisations
15. Regional Organisations
16. Multinational Businesses
III. TRANSNATIONAL CHALLENGES
17. Global Environmental Politics: Sustainable Development, Climate Change and the Energy Dilemma
18. Transnational Politics of Migration: From States to Regimes and Agents
19. Global Poverty
20. Failing States and Statebuilding
21. Soft and Hard Power
Annamarie Bindenagel Sehovic
22. The Rise of Religious Fundamentalism
23. Human Rights and the International Criminal Court
24. The Threat of Transnational Terrorism
25. Fighting Corruption Globally: A Case of Norm Diffusion in International Relations
26. Nuclear Proliferation and International Stability
Klaus Larres is the Richard M. Krasno Distinguished Professor in History and International Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US. He served as Counselor and Senior Policy Adviser at the German Embassy in Beijing, China. Previously he was Professor at the University of London, UK, Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland and Johns Hopkins University/SAIS in Washington, DC, US. He held visiting professorships and senior fellowships at Yale, Tsinghua University in Beijing, the German Institute of International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey. He also held the Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. He has published widely on post-1945 global affairs, including several books. In particular, his publications focus on the global Cold War, transatlantic relations in the post-1945 and post-Cold War years and trilateral relations among the US, China and Europe/Germany. Find his website at www.klauslarres.org.
Ruth Wittlinger is Associate Professor in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. She has published extensively on memory and identity in post-unification Germany and Europe. She is author of the monograph German National Identity in the Twenty-First Century: A Different Republic After All? and her research has been published in a number of journals including West European Politics, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, German Politics, German Politics and Society and Cooperation and Conflict. She has held research fellowships at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, DC, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is currently working on a project which examines the state of the German diaspora in the Former Soviet Union which involves field research in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia/Western Siberia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. In 2018, she became Chair of the International Association for the Study of German Politics.